The Vintech P550 Tribute is something of an enigma.  obviously designed upon the Porsche 550, but redefined as a coupe.  The quality and detail of the car come through in the photographs and I’m sure the car looks/is even better in person.  I must admit I have a strong affinity for classic German sports cars – especially in silver.  This particular car is classic but also modern – just look at the wheels – the theme is classic but the interpretation is completely current.  The French company that created this stunning Tribute has no plans for production but beauty like this wasn’t meant to last. I look forward to standing next to this car someday…

For the entire story, go to: Vintech’s blog or to Autoblog’s story and galleries.

We’ve seen these ‘trendy’ brands come – and go. Can you say Hummer? So should a car brand be built on something beyond todays fleeting fashion and style?  In Hummer’s case, how many militaristic 4x4s can a consumer market absorb – regardless of gas prices.  As a new series of products, they were novel and intriguing. Enough so to make you look past the compromises to everyday usage. And even if gas remained cheap, I suspect the novelty of Hummer would have gradually faded. But certainly not before there were Hummer mid-size sedans in order to grow volume at any cost (the H6 or H7…)  So now we have Scion and can it and a dealer network be supported by a brand that markets only to hip young people who like to party and customize their rides? The 90’s are over and squadrons of customized Honda Civics and the Tuner Mags have seen their rise and fall as a trend. Sure, some will remain but the mass marketization of customization has likely run its course. Now all we have left are cars that are built with quality, well designed, and full of the latest technology – for young and old people. But to say that Scion and Hummer weren’t the right decision at the time would be too much. They may have been the right decision if there was incremental revenue and profit. And what if these Fashion Brands are treated as such – brands that are hot and then cold. They could come and go with the seasons or decades never meaning to last a century. There would be no pretense for unique dealer networks but perhaps just a showroom. As the trends come and go, so would the brand. Toyota is now planning to expand the Prius name to a larger van and smaller coupe/sedan. It seems like a natural progression and one wonders why they haven’t done it sooner. Toyota should definitely take advantage of the Prius ‘trend’ while its still hot.  Eventually the market will be flooded with high quality, well designed hybrids and BEVs so Prius had better exploit it’s brand equity before it too shall fade.

I’ve always had a soft spot for VWs ever since my first driving instructor couldn’t stop talking about his VW Rabbit. Later, a couple of my friends bought a Jetta GLI and Corrado. Both were quick, sporty cars but both were terribly unreliable. Neither ever bought a VW again but the cars sure were fun! Seeing the Jetta TDI Cup cars with the massive mesh front air dams, somehow brought back the youthful and fun spirit of the brand. Combined with the TDI engine and here was something unique (at least in North America). Despite being common place in Europe, diesel engines are still rare on passenger cars in the U.S. To see and read more about this one-of-a-kind car, you can see this review on Autoblog.

 

Finding the perfect sports car is as personal as finding the perfect …. The Boxster Spyder above seems to have it all – light weight, mid-engine, 2 seats, no top, powerful engine, incredible handling, and voluptuous body work. The 911 is often held up as the definitive Porsche but could the Boxster be the true descendant of the original Porsches? And while I’m at it, here a couple of more cool videos to enjoy…

For more photos –  LA Preview: Porsche reveals new lightweight Boxster Spyder [w/VIDEO] — Autoblog.

Buick Regal GS Concept Interior

Could this interior really be a Buick? Just looking at it and knowing you’re sitting in a Buick makes you feel confused, disoriented, and even a little shocked. If it weren’t for that badge on the steering wheel, you’d never know you were in a Buick. The name and the look seem so contradictory that it will take some time to get used to. But we will and hopefully all Buick’s will look this good. Notice the stitching, perforations, metallic surfaces, steering wheel graphics and forms, center console  switches, AND a MANUAL SHIFTER!

It’s difficult to believe the Terrain and the Granite come from the same company but one is a production vehicle and the other a concept. Still, there’s really no excuse for the Terrain. I do hope it is a commercial success at least.

From a Design viewpoint, the Granite rates about 3.5 Stars with the side view paper-thin surface changes being the only questionable element of the design – but even that is interesting!

 

 

Mercedes-Benz ConceptFASCINATION

Rumormill: Mercedes-Benz CLS shooting brake in the works? — Autoblog. Here’s the Mercedes ConceptFASCINATION from last year but still worth a good look. Looking ready for production, this 2 door wagon or ‘Shooting Brake’ is a nice piece of Design. M-B usually does a great job with surface and graphics whereas the details and proportions can be a little controversial – example: GLK. The concept here may not be practical but with the addtion of rear doors – this concept would make a very sporty wagon much like the Cadillac CTS Wagon. Speaking of the CTS, it sure is about time for Cadillac to move on from the razor edge folded paper look. It looked a little simplistic from the beginning and now it just looks dated.